The website 24/7 Wall St is out with their annual listing of best and worst cities. They looked at 383 metropolitan areas and evaluated poverty rates, high school and college education, income, homeownership, employment, mortality, and incarceration. They especially examined the gap between White and Black residents on those factors.
These are the 10 worst cities for African Americans in 2023.
10. Rochester, NY
The Rochester metro area has a Black population of 116.602, which makes up 10.9% of the population. In terms of educational attainment rates, the Rochester, New York metropolitan area exhibits some of the largest disparities between white and Black residents compared to other metropolitan areas. Approximately 93.5% of adult white residents in Rochester hold a high school diploma, and 38.4% have earned a bachelor’s degree. These percentages are slightly higher than the national average. On the other hand, the high school attainment rate among Black residents aged 25 and older is considerably lower at 78.2%, with only 14.2% holding a bachelor’s degree, both of which are well below the national rates for Black Americans.
When looking at the median household income, white residents in the Rochester metro have a median household income that’s over $66,000 while most Black households earn less than half as much at $32,000. The unemployment rate for Black residents is 12.5% while the homeownership rate sits at 31.9%.
9. Trenton-Princeton, NJ
This metro area has a Black population of 73,029 which is 19.8% of the general population. Compared to the national median Black household income, the Trenton-Princeton metro actually has a higher median income for Black residents. However, the White median household income is more than twice as high at slightly over $99,000.
Only 18.4% of the Black residents over 25 have at least a bachelor’s degree. The Black/White unemployment gap is high here as well with 11.7% unemployment for Black residents and 4.4% unemployment among White residents.
8. Danville, IL
Black people make up 14% of the Danville metro area and have a median household income of only $26,039. The unemployment rate is so high in Danville for Black residents at 16%. The bachelor’s degree attainment rate here for Black residents is the second-lowest rate among U.S. metro areas at just 4.3%!
Even though both household income and college attainment rates are low in Danville for white residents too, the homeownership rate for white residents still remains high at 75%. The Black homeownership rate is a low 30.8%.
7. Minneapolis-St.Paul-Bloomington metro in MN and WI
We have repeatedly discussed Minneapolis as one of the worst cities in America for Blacks. The Black population in this metro area is about 300.000 and makes up 8.4% of the total population. The homeownership rate for Black residents here is one of the worst in the nation with just 25.5%. Homeownership has historically been very important in building generational wealth.
The Black unemployment rate is not as bad as other areas, though, sitting at 8.1% and the median Black household income is just below $40,000.
6. Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA
This metro area has one of the largest unemployment gaps between its White and Black residents. The White unemployment is a low 3.1% while the Black unemployment rate is a massive 14.7%!
More than one-third of the 12.737 Black residents live in poverty in Waterloo-Cedar Falls metro area.
5. Peoria, IL
Peoria is yet another Midwestern metro area to rank as one of the worst places for Black people. The median income for the 35.463 Black residents in this metro is just under $28,000 and the homeownership rate is also a low 31.4%. Again, the unemployment rate for Black residents is 16.2% in Peoria compared to 4.8% for White residents.
4. Springfield, IL
Another Illinois metro area to make it on the worst list! Springfield has 25,009 Black residents, which make up 12% of the total population. This is another metro area where the Black median household is less than $28,000 and the unemployment rate is slightly over 15%. The white median household income, in comparison, is $67,422.
Then it is no surprise that almost 40% of Black residents here live below the poverty line.
3. Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI
Milwaukee repeatedly lands in the top 3 for the worst places to live for Black people. In the Milwaukee metro area, Black residents are 12 times more likely to be incarcerated as white residents. The Black incarceration rate here is 2,764 per 100,000, which is significantly higher than the national Black incarceration rate of 1,239 per 100,000.
On top of that, the Black homeownership rate is one of the lowest at 27% while the median household income is well below the national average at $31,257. One more thing, Black residents also face a higher mortality rate with 1,046 deaths per 100,000.
2. Racine, WI
There are two massive Black/White gaps in the Racine metro area that stand out and those are the income and homeownership gap. The median household income for the 21,610 Black residents is a very low $25,751 while the White median income is above the national average at $70,589.
The other gap, the homeownership gap, is reflective of other metro areas on this list, except slightly larger. Only 26.3% of Black residents own their homes while 74% of White residents are homeowners, a percentage that is fairly consistent with the national average. The Black poverty rate here is 35.3%, one of the highest in the nation, but the white poverty rate is relatively low at 8.7%.
1. And the number one worst city in America for Black people is St. Cloud, MN
There are several factors that make the St. Could metro area the worst place for Black people. For one, 47.7% of the 11,768 Black residents live below the poverty line. Only 60.7% of Black adults here have high school diplomas, compared to 94% of the White residents.
St. Cloud also has the highest unemployment rate for Black residents on this list at 17.25%. The white unemployment rate is a very low 3.4%! And if you think the other homeownership rates are low on this list, you will be shocked to know the Black homeownership rate in St. Cloud is 8.2%. If you think that shockingly low rate might be reflective of the general low homeownership rate in this area, you would be wrong. The white homeownership rate is a typical 72.3%.
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